In the world of games events, Nottingham's GameCity is pretty unique - a free festival that celebrates not only the games themselves, but the people behind them. In an industry where everyone is trying to sell something, GameCity gives
In the world of games events, Nottingham's GameCity is pretty unique - a free festival that celebrates not only the games themselves, but the people behind them. In an industry where everyone is trying to sell something, GameCity gives developers a chance to have a bit of light-hearted fun - and none more so than Nottingham's own Crytek UK. In its previous incarnation as Free Radical Design, the studio had already made a name for itself hosting nutcase events, such as 2007's Gong of Terror - an X Factor-style show in which entrants could win an internship at the company by pitching ideas in front of a braying crowd of drunken revellers. This year, however, they seem to have really outdone themselves with CRYSIS: LIVE! - a live-action, fully playable recreation of the Crysis universe. Players were dressed in a version of the famous Nanosuit and thrust into a giant white box. Inside the box was a sprawling set filled with beach sand, palm trees, a ramshackle hut and soldiers - yes, real soldiers from the British Army. Players had to sneak through the level without being detected by using the Nanosuit's 'cloak mode'. This entailed forcing the bad guys to wear sunglasses with blacked-out lenses so they couldn't see, meaning that as far as the player was concerned, they were invisible to the soldiers. However, to make matters more difficult, a small microphone was attached to the Nanosuit's shoe. This microphone amplified the sound of any movement they made, making it tricky as hell to get by unnoticed - because whenever the soldiers heard a sound, they opened fire with high-powered (and highly painful) BB guns. Of the four hundred players that entered the game, only eight emerged victorious. The game was created by Crytek UK's Narrative Designer, Rob Yescombe, who described it as "high-tech Hide and Seek";. "It was a celebration thing for us. Crytek is nearly ten years old, and we've just opened our first studio in the UK, so we thought we'd make something fun that everyone could try", he says. "Normally, when you make a game, you get your feedback from forums, but you rarely get to see people's reactions while they're actually playing. With CRYSIS: LIVE! I was able to see people terrified out of their minds in vivid close-up. I know it's morally questionable, but I just love scaring the crap out of people."